Clever signings, good home support and a well-run management team has seen Maritzburg United as the surprise packages of the Premier Soccer League.
Coach Ernst Middendorp is playing down his side's position on the Premiership table, but deserves credit for the team's excellent league form.
The Team of Choice beat Moroka Swallows 3-1 on Saturday night to move to third on the table.
"These positions, three, four, five and six (on the log) are for teams such as Sundowns, Supersport and Bloemfontein Celtic - for life and that's OK. We will just enjoy where we are for the moment," said Middendorp after the game.
Back for his second spell in charge, the German tactician has gelled together an experienced squad who have become a very difficult to break down and score against.
They appear a well-balanced unit, with players such as Michael Morton and Byrone Hendricks there to do the hard graft, while the likes of Delron Buckley and Mthokozisi Yende are thriving, the two creative players both with a point to prove at this stage of their careers.
It has been perhaps the signing of Buckley, who played under Middendorp in Germany, that has been the club's biggest inspiration as the Bafana Bafana winger brings an added sense of professionalism to the squad.
The 34-year-old's signing also says to his team-mates that management are serious about taking Maritzburg places.
It's not by luck or chance that United find themselves in third spot after 12 games, with the second best defensive record in the league - nine goals conceded, an indication of the discipline and organisation Middendorp has instilled.
The club has also developed the knack of signing quality players from the African continent - Rudolf Bester and Onismor Bhasera, for example, as well as Nigerian winger Felix Obada, albeit via Thanda Royal Zulu.
And when the Team of Choice have been left with no choice but to sell their stars to bigger teams, they have replaced them with quality recruits.
The latest newcomer, Ghana defender Mohamed Awal, has been a rock at the back who and has negated the loss of Mor Diouf to SuperSport United.
In front of goal there are also positive signs, 16 goals in 12 matches making Maritzburg the fifth best-scoring team in the league.
Middendorp said earlier this season that Terranace Mandaza has the ability to be one of the PSL's top strikers, despite him failing to make an impact at his previous club Platinum Stars.
The Zimbabwean is starting to show why with a couple of goals in recent weeks, while his compatriot Cuthbert Malajila is already on six league goals, having picked up this campaign where he left off in the second half of the previous season.
Despite Middendorp downplaying his side's success, this season could prove to be a pivotal moment in the club's history.
There is a new found sense of confidence and optimism at the club, and if they can secure a top six finish, mind-sets will quickly change - no longer will avoiding relegation be the team's first priority.
With the support the team receives in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands, a top five or six finish is just what they need to boost the numbers even further and establish themselves as a power-house in the PSL.
In this respect, it's important that the team hangs on to the players such as Malajila, while youth must be added to the squad to keep the continuity going.
By Anthony McLennan